Dakota Fred with headphones

The Dakota Boys risk their lives for a fortune they may never realise as they explore the white water rapids in Alaska.

There’s gold to be found deep in the heart of the remote Alaskan wilderness, but it takes grit to do the dirty and dangerous work. Dakota Fred and his son Dustin Hurt push the envelope in this series of Gold Rush: White Water, on Discovery Channel (DStv Channel 121), Mondays at 21:00, and streaming live on DStv Now. This type of mining is potentially more lucrative, but also more risky as they face wild animals, extreme temperatures and hypothermia from diving deep in raging torrents with a suction dredge.

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Assisted by a team of intrepid divers, mountaineers and bush mechanics, the Dakotoa Boys explore the white water rapids of McKinley Creek in Alaska, risking their lives for a fortune they may never realise. They persevere in the face of long odds, back where their gold-minining adventures began.


Who are the Dakota Boys?

Fred Hurt is bold and uncompromising and not afraid to ruffle a few feathers to get the job done. He began his construction career working as a Commercial Diver in the Gulf of Mexico, where he learned underwater construction, demolition and salvage – skills he went on to apply later to gold mining. It was after he retired that he started the real work in Alaska, exploring gold mining. After a few unsuccessful mining seasons at Porcupine and Caribou Creek, he moved to claims in Nevada, Wyoming and Montana, before returning to the frozen wastes of the Arctic Circle of Alaska in 2008. In this season, he’s the new boss at Porcupine Creek with the freedom to mine the claim his own way. But this freedom means he has the sole responsibility of making his investment pay off. Fred has been married for 42 years, has four kids, six grandkids and five great grandkids.

Dustin Hurt

Straight out of school Dustin has been around heavy machinery for over 20 years, starting his construction career installing seawalls in the Louisiana Bayou. At 24 he became a wildland firefighter for California Forest Service. Dustin was a hotshot, hiking into blazes and often finding himself in remote locations for extended periods of time. With little logistical support, he’d use chainsaws and axes to cut fire breaks to quell intense wildfires, making him a self-contained unit specializing in wildfire suppression tactics. With a desire to try something new, he responded to Fred’s SOS call. Dustin is ready for a new adventure, with the potential for millions in gold at McKinley Creek. When he isn’t washing rocks, Dustin disappears into the wilderness hiking, snowboarding and rock climbing.


To see more odd things people do for the love of it, visit our Outdoor & Survival Shows Playlist

By Alice da Silva